Megha Swaroop travels from Dwarka’s Sector 6 to Connaught Place everyday. By bus. Why doesn’t she take the faster Metro?
For one, says the young executive, travelling by the RL77 bus saves her eight rupees. But more importantly, “On the bus, I usually get a seat, while the Metro is so congested that even standing in it is unbearable.”
Swaroop is not the only one complaining about the crowd on the trains.
Madhwi Bisht, an event management professional, who travels between Rohini and Rajiv Chowk everyday, said, “During peak hours, it is very difficult to board a train — not so much due to the number of passengers as due to their lack of civic sense. There is a lot of pushing and shoving.”
The daily count of passengers using the Metro now exceeds 8 lakh. Metro authorities claim the number of users increased 22 per cent last year, while they expect a 25 per cent increase this year. Since a 4-coach Metro train can seat only 186 passengers, the vast majority have to travel standing.
Commuters want the Metro to increase both the frequency and the capacity of trains. At present, there are 70 trains (280 coaches) covering the 68 km network.
The Metro authorities are already working towards this. “We plan to get 131 new trains by March end. However, these will be pressed into service only in June. By 2010, there will be a total of 625 coaches, which will definitely help in reducing the load on trains,” Delhi Metro’s spokesperson, Anuj Dayal, told HT.